AJ Hinch praises Akil Baddoo after 1st career HR in MLB debut

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Though the Detroit Tigers weren’t able to pull off the sweep against the Cleveland Indians this afternoon, there was a pretty movie-esque moment during the course of the afternoon.

Rookie outfielder Akil Baddoo blasted the first ever pitch he faced in the Majors, joining a select group of Tigers players in team history to homer in their first career at-bat.

“What cool moment for him and his family,” manager A.J. Hinch said afterwards. “First pitch he sees in the big leagues goes opposite – it was a cool moment in the dugout, everything was very memorable for him and his family.”

Baddoo’s parents were among the limited number of fans in attendance at Comerica Park, and their exuberant reaction had to bring smiles to the faces of everyone watching at home on television. They later shared their thoughts on the moment with Bally Sports Detroit host Johnny Kane.

“He had a big smile on his face, and we let him enjoy the moment and being able to share it with his family and teammates,” Hinch said. “You only have one first game in his career. This will get more routine for him as he plays more, and the newness of the league will wear off, but the emotion he felt will last a lifetime.

“Obviously he has the talent to do a lot of different things, I knew he’d give me everything he’s got. That was evident from the beginning.”

Baddoo, a Rule 5 draft pick in December from the Minnesota Twins, went 13-for-40 (.325) with two doubles, five home runs, 11 RBIs, 10 walks and 14 strikeouts in Spring Training.

– – Quotes via Bally Sports Detroit Link – –